So: tomorrow is date with Lemur Boy. To avoid the pitfalls that sometimes occur, am going to make a list of Things To Talk About On Date.
1. Lemurs: what is his favourite lemur species and why. Ask him about the various lemur species he encountered in the Wild. Associated with this: show him my ring-tailed lemurs in the park. If he seems receptive can tell him about Jess and Dana – my black and white ruffed lemur chums at the Zoo who perform natural behaviours in the Animals in Action display. Also have a programme recorded to watch tonight, for research purposes, about Sifakas (a very large lemur species, the ones who walk on their back legs. Often white). If I learn anything exciting, will be able to tell him about it. Maybe he has met wild sifakas, bounding around on their back legs…
2. Madagascar: ask him what it was like living there. Can mention that I was going to do some conservation work there, but without disclosing that couldn’t go in the end as there was no hospital on the island and it was seen as too risky due to my mental disorder. At that time I was taking lithium and had to have regular blood tests and needed a hospital around.
3. Micro finance banks. Ask him to tell me about them: boys like explaining things don’t they. Can mention that know a bit about them due to WWF Africa projects event. Must try not to bang on about how the event was all full of very elderly people and we were confused as to why everyone was so old until the last lecture made it clear: “leaving a bequest to WWF in your will.” Maybe won’t mention that went with Mum. Is not advisable, apparently, to mention Parents on first date, and certainly is not ideal to give impression that parents are one’s only friends and/or social companions. Must not say “would your parents like me?” Or ask to meet his parents at this stage.
4. Work. Can ask him about his work. Is OK to mention own work in passing, and own writing, excluding mad-fat-cancerous-dating-diary. Can say that have been ill this week with infection and temperature but without mentioning cancer/ implant/ mental disorder.
5. Leisure activities: ask him what he likes to do in his free time. If he asks me this question, can tell him that enjoy cycling, theatre, restaurants, reading, writing, gym. Also am member of London Zoo and enjoy the museums. Mustn’t mention that spend 20 hours per day asleep and fill my rare waking hours moaning and whining about my aches and pains.
6. Ask him if he has any pets. Mention own kitten and maybe share a couple of photos but don’t spend 30 minutes showing him 2000 photos of my kitten. Or recently deceased cat. Mustn’t bang on about death of previous cat, or, indeed death of anyone. Must endeavour to keep tone of chat light, bright and sparkling.
7. Holiday. Ask him about his holiday. Think he mentioned having just returned from abroad. This is a safe topic as if he asks me about own holiday am able to tell him about the Writing Retreat and how brilliant it was.
8. Exercise: ask him what forms of exercise he enjoys. If he seems to enjoy exercise and/ or talking about it, can mention my personal training, spin, cycling, swimming. Must not bang on about weight loss though. That is not attractive.
That seems like a good start. Wish me luck?